October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

The following piece was originally published on Worldwide Weird Holidays. It seemed like a good fit for the Sandwich as well. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

global handwashing day

We know, we know: eww! When it comes to that ill-advised hot dog wolfed at a highway rest stop, we are all Mulder: we want to believe. That counter's clean, the food freshly prepared by people who treat every day as handwashing day. So this must be one of those silly made-up holidays. Right? Why are we still talking about this?

Global Handwashing Day was founded in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to raise awareness of how proper hygiene can prevent disease transmitted by hand.  Here's a tweet promoting the holiday and graphic embedded in it.

Why #GlobalHandwashingDay? B/C 1 trillion germs can live in 1 gram of poop (abt weight of a paper clip)! http://bit.ly/1JUaOrD

global handwashing feces facts

Wait a second. The numbers don't match in the tweet and its graphic. Although I think we can all agree that either number is unsettling, we feel it's our duty to get to the bottom of this. Who knew that researching this would end up in such a dark place?

Okay, now that we've got our juvenile punning (mostly) out of the way, let's learn a little bit about the strangers in our poop. According to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control, a gram of feces can contain a total of 1 trillion germs. So the tweet is right. Reporting of the number of viruses and bacteria, however, varies wildly. You might want to take our word for it. The Google search alone will make you want to douse yourself in hand sanitizer (which, by the way, isn't as effective as you might think.)

Now that you've got a face full of feces facts, here's a dollop more. A German site called my.microbes aims to be the first social network to connect members with similar microbial profiles to "share experiences, remedies, health and diet tips." Watch out, Match.com!

If you've got your mind on your manure and your manure on your mind, track your output with the PoopLog app. According to the developer, he updated it to include the ability to attach photos because "it is the most requested feature from my users." PoopLog allows you to track your bowel movements using the Bristol Stool Scale.

The Bristol Scale was devised in England and is very, well, descriptive. Click here to view it but maybe not when you're eating sausage. We're not showing it here because we don't want to support poop porn. We will show you this enthusiastic review of PoopLog, though:

pooplog review

Leland, we wish you the best in your turd analysis. Perhaps Places I've Pooped would be a valuable app for you, too. Just a quick word of advice: turn off the flash when you take a shelfie™* in a public place, which we fervently hope is a restroom. The uninformed might frown on you taking a photo of what came from your posterior for posterity.

Now, if you'll excuse us, we're going to go wash our hands. We may never stop.

*sh-- + selfie: don't make us spell this out



Vagina Repo: Gwyneth Edition

The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam; You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al. It is an energetic release—not just a steam douche—that balances female hormone levels. If you’re in LA, you have to do it.
                                                                                        Gwyneth Paltrow, GOOP.com

Gwyneth dear, clearly you never got the owner's manual. How else to explain your ignorance of something that is only a couple feet from your face at all times? Though I'm sure you are so flexible from your spiritual yoga practice that you're one plow pose away from direct nose-to-labia confrontation, I feel that you need a visual aid. To wit:

Have one of your servants fetch a hand mirror and position it so that you can see your pudendum in all its undoubtedly depilated glory. Note the geography. (Remember, it's that class you took while perfecting your Blue Steel facial pose.) If you can see your uterus from here, then you won't need a doula to massage your perineum with sacred oils during childbirth. You can just shoot them out like they're on a waterslide at Six Flags.

In fact, short of borrowing a pressure washer from your local car wash, steam will most assuredly not reach your uterus. (Note: Steam Douche: excellent band name.) The mini-throne is essentially a chair with a hole in it through which the spa taps your Iron Man residuals. As for the "energetic release," it's possible...if your vagina is pulling a very tiny train.

I do have to thank you for the information on how steam affects hormone levels. It explains that weird day at the gym when I spent too much time in the sauna and turned into a man.

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